Prevent Problems by Managing Diabetes
April 1, 2022, 9:18 pm
If you have been diagnosed with diabetes, it is important to properly monitor and manage your health in order to prevent related health conditions from developing. Common problems that can develop from poorly managed diabetes include:
- kidney disease,
- eye problems,
- heart disease,
- foot problems.
The best way to prevent conditions like these is to meet with your primary care doctor for your regularly scheduled check-ups to ensure your diabetes is under control. Your doctor can help you with managing your diabetes by helping to monitor your blood sugar levels, check for any new signs and symptoms that you might have, and refer you to specialists for other check-ups as needed.
Controlling you blood sugar (or blood glucose) is perhaps the most essential part of managing diabetes. The hemoglobin A1C test, or HbA1c test, is a simple blood test your doctor can use to monitor your blood sugar. Get this test done regularly so your doctor can help make sure you are on track to staying healthy. It is recommended to get your A1C test at least every 6 months. Learn more about this test here with the CDC.
Diabetic kidney disease can develop due to stress on kidneys from consistently high blood sugar and/or high blood pressure. Some other health conditions may make you more susceptible as well – discuss your kidney disease risk with your doctor. They can check for kidney problems by testing your urine and blood.
Risk of diabetic eye problems is also higher in patients who have untreated high blood sugar levels and/or untreated high blood pressure. Your doctor may perform your eye exam, or they may refer you to an eye care professional to monitor your eye health. Early symptoms of eye problems can be blurred vision, decreased ability to see color, dark spots, or flashes of light. Contact your doctor if you notice a sudden change in your vision.
An early sign of foot problems with diabetes can be the loss of feeling in your feet. Call your doctor if you notice any symptoms such as color changes in your feet, if your foot is warm and sore, or if you have a blister or other painful spot that hasn’t begun to heal after a few days. Your doctor can refer you to a foot doctor (or podiatrist) for an exam if needed.
This page created by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases is a great resource for information about preventing diabetes problems, as well as links to other diabetes topics.
When you have diabetes, visiting your primary care doctor regularly is important, even when you don’t feel sick. Simple exams and tests can show your doctor any changes in your condition, which can help them tailor your treatment plan for you. It may be harder to treat a problem after it develops than to take care to prevent it, so let your doctor know right away if you notice any changes in your health to stay on track.